View Full Version : Pathfinder Palug - The Tiny Protective Beastfolk

2018-10-04, 11:06 AM
Hello, GiantitP! I recently came up with this idea, and was hoping for some feedback. I found the idea of a small, fuzzy people who are nonetheless fiercely protective of their bigger friends to be rather amusing. Their custom racial ability, Palug's Charge, is the thing I'm least sure about. I'm not quite sure if it's balanced as-is, or if it still needs reworking. How they would go about selecting a new charge outside of some brief meditation on it is something I'm not sure about. Thanks!


2018-10-04, 02:36 PM
I love the flavour poured into this race! I really want to play one now. One thing that struck a discordant note with me, however, is that from reading the flavour I really didn’t expect that Charisma penalty; I would perhaps drop both that and the strength bonus.
As for the charge; I really like the object version. The place version could perhaps be a bit more solid rules-wise. Just a 1 mile radius area should suffice.
As for the creature charge, I would suggest granting bodyguard as a bonus feat, but the Palug can only use it to aid their charge

2018-10-05, 02:19 PM
Thanks for the feedback, continuumg.

The Charisma penalty is there due to the way the race building system works in Pathfinder's rules. Each race using the standard rule for stat bonuses gains a bonus to one physical stat and one mental stat, as well as a penalty to one stat. I chose Charisma due to the palugs' standoffish nature, it seemed the most appropriate stat. The Strength bonus I bought in order to help offset their small size, as they are meant to be physical threats despite their little stature and cuteness, and it was a rather novel concept. I can't recall any Small size race with a bonus to Strength.

I considered the bodyguard feat, and almost went with it, until I found the Armiger 3rd party class. I sort of wanted to express a little more almost mystical connection with the Palug's Charge feature. The connection is meant to be so strong that the palug gains hyper-awareness of any threat to their charge, allowing them to defend even against threats they can't see. It would perhaps be a little simpler to just give a bonus feat...

2018-10-05, 09:27 PM
This is super fun, and super cute, and I would love to see someone play one (Unlikely to myself, as tend to be GM).

Great choice of picture, really set the tone.

Definitely agree that the Cha penalty seems off...
Personally, I would drop that and the Con bonus (yes, this gets into weird rules space, as mentioned in your previously reply).
They are meant to be fierce, and powerful, but I don't see the need for high Con- they aren't indestructible, and in some sense their willingness to take risks DESPITE not being indestructible is what makes them impressive. I can see the need for STR in order to be powerful fighters, but If you wanted to drop the CHA penalty, I would argue that the CON bonus might not be totally needed.

2018-10-05, 10:09 PM
Thanks, NineGardens, I'm glad you like the little fluffballs.

I do agree if any score can be dropped, it's the Con one. But the Cha penalty is there simply because I don't see them as being especially deficient in any other score, and the rules I used state that a race needs a negative to two positives. In 5e, it'd just be positives, but every other basic race in Pathfinder has the same breakdown, save for that additional +2 to Str that the palugs get through their Advanced Strength race trait. There needs to be some form of negative, else they have no weaknesses at all.

If not Charisma, can I ask what ability score might be better suited?

2018-10-06, 11:02 AM
Personally, I would swap the wisdom and charisma, then swap out the bonus in various environments with a bonus vs charms and compulsions.
Wisdom feels a bit weird as a bonus to me, because it if like they would rush headlong into danger to protect their ward, that’s sort of against wisdom’s flavour of using common sense and thinking before acting.
That said; it is your vision. Do with it what you will.
I’m slightly biased by my temptation to build one as a swashbuckler

2018-10-06, 11:21 PM
Well... I mean as far as game BALANCE goes, if you're allowed to give them +2 stength, then in theory you can give them +2 Cha instead (thus cancelling the penalty)...
So in terms of game balance you can probably get away with it.....
But I agree, it is a break in the pattern, and so I can totally see where you are coming from with this.

I can imagine them with a STR penalty, and a Dex bonus (they are fierce warriors, but mainly because nimble, not strong), I can imagine a Wis penalty, for the reasons mentioned by continuumg.

I can imagine maybe INT penalty (you never comment on intelligence, and .... but I agree, it feels like a stretch).

Hmmmm... its tricky... as you say, no obvious place. In some sense I wish PF was a little more flexibile in how bonuses/penalties are splayed out, so as to give more freedom when it came to building races the way they make sense.

2018-10-07, 12:14 PM
There are plenty of other stat distribution options listed in the race building rules;
For instance, the “Flexible” stat distribution (the same one used by Aasimar) allows a +2 to two stats with no penalties at the cost of 2 RP.
For balance comparison, a Human is ~8 RP total. Here is an example of how one could build Palug.
2 RP Flexible: +2 Str, +2 Cha
~2 RP Palug’s Charge
2 RP Stubborn: +2 Will vs Charms and Compulsions; Gets a 2nd save after 1 round if 1st save failed
2 RP Skill bonus: +2 Survival
Total ~8RP

2018-10-08, 10:20 AM
Thanks again, folks.

I do see your point about the Wisdom bonus being less necessary, continuumg. I added it due to their usual survivalist nature, but with that +2 Survival bonus it sort of balances it out. I might adjust that to a Wis negative to represent single-mindedness and their impulsive desire to protect. Though that then leaves the question of where to put a mental +2.

If you wanted to rebuild the race with a Charisma bonus instead of something else, I of course have no problem with that, but I honestly don't see them that way. Unless maybe it applied to Intimidate? The palugs are territorial, stubborn, and isolationist, so I can't see them being very good at social interaction outside their tribe. Hence why Wis was my go-to +2 mental stat.

I'd rather not switch to Flexible stat array as they currently sit at 11 RP, right around dwarves in power, who palugs have a bit in common with. 13 would take them up to Tiefling tier, and those are on the high end of what my games generally allow. And if I did go Flexible, I'd probably do Str and Con, since they're more warrior than spellcaster or leader. Hm, but that does get rid of the problem of mental +2. And I could drop desert runner and just keep the survival bonus...

As far as Str penalty, I sort of like the idea of a deceptively strong little fuzzy thing. Every other Small race already has either no Str adjustment or a negative. None of them even lift, bro. I sort of wanted to change that with palugs.